While manufacturing may not be as sexy as many of the tech jobs that dominate Silicon Valley right now, the sector is a critical source of middle-class jobs and tax revenue for our city. Last month Sam Liccardo unveiled a collection of incentives to boost manufacturing under a new program called "We Are Built in San Jose."
The incentives include waiving permit fees for renovating existing manufacturing building, guaranteeing permit approvals within 60 days for expanding and relocating manufacturing companies, cutting construction taxes by 75% (from a 4% tax to a 1% tax), and special PG&E rates.
There are tons of available manufacturing buildings throughout San Jose, particularly in North San Jose, that are just collecting dust. While several existing companies are expanding their manufacturing capabilities in San Jose, there are still millions of square feet of space to fill. The advent of 3D printing and advanced robotics will one day make it much more cost effective to build locally in the US than oversees. Now is the time to start preparing for that future and expanding our manufacturing capabilities.